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Day 5: Wentworth and Waihi

April 15, 2010 2 comments

Sunday, 04 April, 2010:

Happy Easter!

On the Hike

Despite the great condition of everything else at the campsite last night, the bathrooms were gross.  They smelled strongly of chemicals and were filled with tiny flies that would swarm you as soon as you walked in.

Also, didn’t sleep terribly well.  I was woken up in the middle of the night by a loud siren (like a fire whistle) in the distance.  I was a bit shaken up, but soon forgot about it and went back to sleep.  Soon after that, though, I was woken up again by an animal breathing heavy outside the driver side door.  Once again, never found out what it was because it stopped pretty quickly.

I stayed at Wentworth (the campsite) for most of the day. Had a quick breakfast and set out to walk the “mine trail.” It was really just a path through the woods with two small mines along the side with “Danger: Do Not Enter” signs posted on the outside.  They were also filled with wetas.

I had an interesting run-in with a fantail bird while on the walk.  I was it sitting on a low branch and went to take a picture.  I got about two feet away without it moving.  Even then, it fluttered to another nearby bush but never strayed too far from me.  When two other people walked by, the bird flew away, but immediately returned when they were gone.  When I was done taking pictures, I walked away, but the bird followed.  He flew from branch to branch behind me, never more than five feet back and always happily chirping.  He followed for 15 minutes, only stopping after I crossed a stream.  Really makes me wonder if it’s a reincarnated relative or something.

Fantail

After lunch and asking the camp manager if she could charge my cell phone, I went after the Wentworth Waterfall Trail.  This two-hour return trail was an easy walk along a gravel path, but it ended in a beautiful, 2-tier waterfall.  It was difficult to get a shot of the whole thing, but from the swimming hole at the bottom you could easily get a photo of the bottom tier.

Wentworth Falls

I got the second quickest shower I’ve ever taken (first being on a commercial break during a Survivor finale in middle school).  Since my $1 coin only got me 3.5 minutes of water, and I didn’t want to have to get back out to insert more, I was done in a jiffy.

Right before I left, I saw a bee trapped in a spider web.  The spider, about the size of a quarter, came after the bee, but the bee was able to shake off the webs and fly away.  Would have been an interesting battle.

I left the Wentworth campground around 3 pm, heading towards Waihi and the Bay of Plenty.  I stopped on the side of the road to take some photos of two horses and then continued on.

In Wiahi I got direction to my campground for the night, as well as Part One of my Easter dinner: a six-inch chicken and bacon sub from Subway.  (And yes, they still call them 6-inch or footlong here even though it’s Metric system in New Zealand.)

Since my campsite doesn’t get cell reception, I stopped on the side of the road to watch one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen.  I got to eat Part Two of Easter dinner: a cold can of Campbell’s Chunky Chicken and Vege Soup.  I also got to talk to Kat, which always makes me happy.

Brown and White

The campsite tonight would be amazing if I had a tent.  The bathrooms are clean, the land is spacious, and there’s even a stream.  (And, to top it all off, it’s free, compared to the $9/night I’ve been paying.)  Unfortunately, all cars are confined to a parking lot, so I’m stuck covering my windows with t-shirts and sleeping in the lot.  Oh, and apparently a “Basic” campsite means no sinks and bring-your-own toilet paper.

Still, this is the prettiest and most rural it’s been since the South Island, and it’s nice to have a chance in pace and get back to what I really wanted out of this trip.  Hopefully it’s only continue to get prettier as I got south, just as it did down on the South Island.

Coromandel Sunset

Full Set: North Island Trip

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